Chapter 43 – The Mysterious Girl (4)
The place’s interior wasn’t luxurious as one would expect from a fantasy world. Rather than that, it was decorated with modern pieces of furniture.
The atmosphere of the place resembled a modern bar.
It felt alien, but that made it look more secretive.
“This place… is amazing…!”
Louise ran toward a chair and sat down. She smiled comfortably.
Even if she was a noble, it would probably be her first time seeing a place with such a trendy modern atmosphere.
Hyun let Louise rest for a while.
—A long table that reminded him of a bar.
On top of it, there was a hole that resembled a vending machine where you could put in gold coins.
Since the place was a secret marketplace, you could buy rare items in it.
“Hey Hyun, what’s that?”
Before he had noticed, Louise had approached him and was looking with curious eyes.
Hyun focused on the interface that was on top of the table.
He used the buttons to select an item and then pressed okay.
A column with lenses on each side rose and began emitting a light.
Lights came out from opposing directions. As both lights overlapped, a three-dimensional image appeared in the air.
It had a luxurious black silhouette.
An explanation about the item was shown in 3D.
[ Sword of Fire (Unique) ]
Wear Restriction: [Lv.200], or [Strength] + [Magical Power] more than 300.
<Are you a magical swordsman? If not, you shouldn’t lust after my sword.>
Magical Power Increase: 20%
Critical Hit Rate: +5%
– Every 30 seconds, make a fire explosion that affects all opponents within a range of three meters.
– The explosion deals [Strength] + [Magical Power] as damage.
<Price: 11,000 gold>
A little puppet show began in front of them.
It was an instruction video made of a hologram that showed how to use the item.
The moment a small blue doll used the sword’s abilities…
All the red dolls around it burned and fell all at once.
Louise began clapping.
She looked like a child who was looking at a 3D movie for the first time—she was very immersed in it.
‘Not this kind of weapon.’
Hyun had a withered look in his eyes.
A magical sword wasn’t an attractive weapon.
To begin with, it was a weapon neither Ain nor he could use… They couldn’t even grab it because of the high stat limit.
He touched the table, and the image disappeared instantly.
Louise looked at him with begging eyes, but Hyun ignored her and started looking at the other items on the list.
On the screen attached to the table, they could see a list with hundreds of different items.
There were explosives, supplies, and rare or unique items. You could even find foods like juice or steak.
Since Louise looked at the food sets with intense eyes, he used one gold to buy her a kids meal set.
He found what he was looking for when Louise was about to finish eating.
[ The Ring of the Executioner (Rare) ]
Wear Restriction: None
<It’s a dangerous item. The executioner gives this present as a gift to the prisoner on their last day.>
– Redirect all attacks that are within a five-meter range to yourself.
– Once you put it on, you won’t be able to take it off for 10 minutes.
<Price: 2500 gold>
In this video, a blue doll faced red ones after putting on the ring.
Suddenly, all the red dolls loosed arrows toward the blue doll.
Dozens of arrows were flying while drawing a parabola, but suddenly, when they got closer to the blue doll…
Just as if they had suddenly gained life, they changed their direction.
It was as if the blue doll was pulling the arrows to it as if it were a magnet.
Not a single arrow missed.
The blue doll became a hedgehog and collapsed to the ground; that was the end of the video.
“This one is creepy…”
Louise felt goosebumps.
If so many arrows flew toward her, she wouldn’t be able to survive.
It was like looking at someone being executed in real-time.
But Hyun was looking at that ring with a satisfied smile.
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Woosh- Hyun poured shining coins on the table.
They were platinum coins that were each worth 100 gold coins.
‘Why is he buying such a dangerous thing?’
Louis couldn’t understand Hyun’s decisions.
For her, that ring was just something monstrous.
“Do you really want such a cursed item so badly?”
“It’s the Ring of the Executioner.”
“Even the name is cursed…”
As all the coins entered the hole next to the table, the item came out as if the table were a vending machine.
“Good. all preparations are done.”
“I’m not sure why you’re saying it’s good…”
“Get ready. We’re getting out of the dungeon soon.”
Louise’s shoulders shrugged at Hyun’s words.
“No, once night comes.”
Hyun sat down on a sofa that was around there and closed his eyes.
How it wrapped around him made it feel like he was sitting on a cloud.
[A significant amount of tiredness has accumulated!]
[The moment ‘tiredness’ surpasses 100, the game will forcibly shut down! (Current: 97)]
Asrian had a way to sleep without disconnecting from the game.
While thinking about the battle they were about to engage in, Hyun fell asleep.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
In the real world, it was 3:00 pm.
But the sun had just set where the dungeon was located.
If they wanted to take Louise to a safe place, they had to begin moving immediately.
The dungeon had five exit gates in total.
Hyun had chosen the one that had the most amount of traps.
At first, one would think that they were taking an unnecessary risk, but Hyun had concluded that they had more chances of safely escaping through that gate than the others.
‘I hope everything goes according to the plan.’
He explained his strategy to Louise before moving.
Her face turned pale after listening to it, but he was able to convince her.
「We’ve almost arrived.」
They soon arrived at a particular place.
The dungeon’s exit was a wide, round spiral staircase about 20 meters in diameter.
He tilted his neck and looked up at the sky.
Even though the place was underground, they couldn’t see the ceiling.
It was like looking at the babel tower, which people said was so tall that it used to touch the skies.
There was an endless staircase at the edge of the tower.
…And there was still a long way to the exit.
“Is this okay?” Louise asked while they were going up the stairs.
Hyun, at first, couldn’t understand what she was talking about.
But then, her vision became blurry, and her body began to tremble.
Tears formed in Louise’s eyes.
With «Assimilation», you share the other person’s emotions too.
When he touched the corner of her eyes, he felt some tears.
They were probably Louise’s.
At that moment, he finally understood what she was thinking.
「I’m a user,」Hyun said while wiping the tears.
I’ve already told you that even if I die, I actually won’t.」
He understood the reason why Louise refused this plan so much.
It would be for the best if they could both escape together, but if they did that, they wouldn’t be able to get away from the people following them.
Someone had to stay behind and earn some time if they wanted to increase the probability of escaping.
So Hyun had decided to sacrifice himself.
A user wouldn’t die in real life if he died in the game.
While explaining the plan to her, Louise forcibly nodded, but now that the decisive time was coming, she seemed to be having trouble accepting it.
「There’s no time to think about other things.」
One day, Louise would also understand that users are different.
But the most important thing, for the time being, was getting out of the dungeon safely.
“Hyun…” Louise suddenly murmured.
While «Assimilating», you could even hear something said in a low tone of voice.
“I want to ask you something shameless.”
“It’s okay if it’s after you’ve revived. Don’t you want to stay with me?”
「I can’t do that.」
He could feel Louise’s shoulders shrugging.
Hyun smiled bitterly.
‘But I can’t say yes to something impossible.’
After a few days, the main story patch would be applied to the game. In just an instant, five years would pass.
But in real life, it would take just a few hours.
It basically meant that there would be a discrepancy between the game and real life.
Meeting Louise right after the patch would be hard.
“I see… It was something impossible…”
「If you’re alive, we’ll probably meet again… But it will be impossible for the next five years.」
He could feel the air on her skin.
—It meant they were near the exit of the dungeon.
He looked up.
Even though they’d been walking for a while, there were still a lot of stairs left.
At first glance, the cylindrical exit looked normal, but in reality, it was full of traps.
If they stepped on the red stairs, some traps that would even put users above level 200 in danger would activate.
Hyun walked very cautiously to avoid the traps.
Hyun twisted her body because of the sudden strong light that came flying toward them.
Something brushed past her hair.
When he looked backward, he saw a sharp dagger on the walls.
The moment he saw that, Hyun knew that the battle had already begun.
‘A sniper? Where?’
Hyun tried to guess the direction from where the dagger had come.
The opponents were hidden above in the staircase.
The battle had begun suddenly.
Louise used «Steps of the Wind» to move faster through the stairs.
As she began to speed up, it looked like the wind was going up and down the stairs.
But at that moment…
The entire front of the staircase was destroyed.
Louise, swept away by the shock, fell to the ground while screaming in pain.
If Hyun hadn’t taken control, she would’ve probably fallen down the stairs.
「Keep your balance!」
Hyun turned their body around in the air and used the wall to run. Thanks to that, Louise was able to land on the other side of the staircase.
“Ugh… A strong wind suddenly pushed me away.”
「It’s a bomb.」
Hyun clenched her teeth.
It seemed like they’d concluded that it wasn’t enough with ninja stars or daggers—they’d brought in a weapon that could inflict damage on a very wide area.
‘I won’t be able to block this with «One Second Absorption».’
The skill «One Second Absorption» was useful for blocking numerous small attacks, but it couldn’t withstand a single attack with highly destructive power.
It should be able to block the fragments of the bomb, but if the fire touched them, they’d probably die immediately.
The explosions didn’t end with just one.
It was like they were being bombarded.
Hyun instinctively jumped to the side.
The moment they moved, an explosion shook the entire place.
The staircase corresponding to a floor disappeared without leaving a trace.
They had avoided direct contact with the explosion, but the danger hadn’t disappeared.
—The follow-up blast after the explosion…
The fragments that had scattered up were targeting Louise.
Most fragments passed under their feet, but some had flown upwards and were bouncing back at them.
Because Louise didn’t have a lot of HP, even slight damage would be critical.
‘We mustn’t get hit.’
Swing- He twisted her waist in the air.
The fragments of the bomb brushed past her calf and shoulders.
—A few tore her clothes away.
—Then some cut her hair and got stuck in the wall behind them.
From an outsider’s point of view, it seemed as if all the attacks were flying past them on their own.
It was as if she was dancing in the air.
Hyun cursed while dodging the fragments. A third bomb was flying toward them.
The new bomb exploded before they could regain balance.
The flames covered Louise.
—An ear-drum tearing sound.
—Fragments of the bomb flying everywhere.
Louise felt as if the world had gotten slower.
Death was approaching her.
All the sharp remnants of the bomb were flying toward her, and they were about to tear her down.
Louise was scared of them, so she closed her eyes.
Hyun separated from Louise.
Whoosh- The fragments changed direction.
Hundreds of scattered pieces were centered at a single point, just like the light coming out from a convex lens.
—The Ring of the Executioner.
It was thanks to the effect of the item that drew all surrounding attacks to the person holding it.